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Dr. Shauna Morgan, right, with the University of Kentucky, answers a question asked from MCC staff during a faculty workshop before classes begin on Monday.

With the fall semester starting Monday, Madisonville Community College has renewed the masking requirement while continuing to use protocols aimed at protecting students, faculty and staff from COVID-19, according to officials.

MCC President Dr. Cindy Kelley said the college didn’t change any of the protocols from last year, although in June they did stop wearing masks when allowed.

“We actually still have a lot of protocols in place, like distancing, and there is a lot of Plexiglas,” she said. “The renewed protocol is that we are requiring all faculty, staff and students to wear masks while they are indoors.”

Kelley said she has three goals — to keep the employees on campus, to keep the students on campus, and to keep everyone safe.

“We may seem cautious, but if we can make it is as difficult as possible for that virus to transmit on our campus, then we will be able to be here longer for our students,” said Kelley.

When the COVID-19 numbers started increasing across the five counties MCC covers, she said college officials talked with local health leaders to find the best and safest way to reopen.

“We think we are ready for the semester,” said Kelley. “We think we have proven last year that we can do this and believe we can do it again this year.”

On-campus classes will continue with distancing among the students, she said. Most of the classes are back to full size.

“We are making sure there is three feet of distance around all of our students, and in most cases, it is more than that,” said Kelley.

The college has cleaning protocols that happen throughout the day, and every classroom is deep cleaned at the end of every day, she said. The college also has access to ultraviolet disinfecting machines they can use in classrooms and meeting rooms.

She said most of the faculty and staff are in isolated spaces and if they are not, then there is Plexiglas separating them. The classes, while offered on campus, are also offered online and through hybrid scheduling to meet students’ comfort levels.

“We want to urge students to come back to school, there are still some who are hesitant,” said Kelley.

To get ready for the new semester, the Enrollment Center, Financial Aid Office and book store will have extended hours until 6 p.m. today and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

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